You know you are running good when you sneak in a cover like we did last night. We have been red-hot all week, winning seven out of ten bets, and last night we picked up another win, although we did get a bit lucky to get it done. I took a very rare run line bet, backing the Oakland Athletics, laying a run and a half, on the road against the Seattle Mariners.
The A’s have been doing a great job of blowing teams out recently and have very quietly been one of the hottest team in baseball the last several weeks. The A’s had won eight out of the least eleven starts from last night’s starter Brett Anderson, winning seven of those games by multiple runs. And Mariners starter, Yusei Kikuchi has seen his season completely fall apart in the last two months after a strong start.
So, I felt confident that not only would the Athletics win the game, they would win it by multiple runs. And imagine my horror when we hit the seventh inning with the Mariners actually leading the game 2-1. Anderson was solid as expected, but Kikuchi had his best starts in months as the Japanese import pitched seven strong innings, allowing just two earned runs.
We hit the ninth inning in a bad spot, as Oakland had the lead 3-2, but they weren’t covering the run line. We needed runs in the ninth, or our bet would lose, despite being on the right side. But our ace in the hole came through, that being the dreadfully bad Seattle bullpen. The A’s were able to put a two spot on the board in the top of the ninth, on a Robbie Grossman pinch hit two-RBI double to break the game wide open. A’s closer Liam Hendriks followed that up with a perfect bottom of the ninth, and we snuck out of town with the winning run line bet.
Those run line bets can certainly be risky, but if you can time them right, they can be very profitable. For the Mariners, the All-Star break can’t get here soon enough as this team is in freefall. And for the A’s, they continue to climb up the standings in the American League, and after a slow start, look to be very much in contention to make the playoffs for the second consecutive season. For today’s pick, we will head to Arizona, where the DBacks host the Rockies.
The Colorado Rockies are in Arizona Saturday for game two of a three-game series with the Diamondbacks. The Rockies had been a bit inconsistent as of late. They took a series against the Giants in late June and then closed out the month by splitting a series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. But July hasn’t started out well for Colorado as they have lost four straight games, including the series opener last night against the DBacks.
For Arizona, the win last night came on the heels of losing four out of their previous five games. Just one game separates these two teams for second place in the National League West Division, and both teams are in the race for the wild card in the National League.
Starting for the Rockies is Jon Gray (9-5 3.84 ERA), and for the DBacks, it is Robbie Ray (5-6 4.10 ERA). The game total over-under is set at eight runs. The DBacks are -117 home favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM PST from Chase Field in Phoenix.
Arizona starter Robbie Ray is really struggling at the moment. The former All-Star and Cy Young Award vote getter is a shell of his former self right now. In June, Ray was 1-5 with an ERA of 5.00 in six starts. The DBacks lost five out of those six starts. He has done a great job of racking up the strikeouts, he has 129 Ks on the season, good for fourth in the NL, but he can’t seem to keep the ball in the ballpark.
After only allowing only one long ball in thirty and a third innings pitched in May, Ray gave up nine home runs in thirty-six innings in June. He is quite familiar with the Rockies as he has faced them twice in the last six weeks. And it hasn’t gone well for Ray or the DBacks as he pitched a combined ten and two-thirds of an inning, gave up eight runs, and the DBacks lost both games. One big reason for Rays struggle this season has been his command. He has 49 walks on the year, that is the third most in the National League.
Jon Gray was the exact opposite of Ray in June, as he was fantastic. Gray made six starts and went 5-1 with a 2.65 ERA. He has faced Arizona twice recently, and the Rockies won both games. Gray pitched a combined eleven and a third innings and allowed just three earned runs against Arizona. After losing Gray’s first three starts of the year, the Rockies have now won eleven of his last fifteen starts.
This is a fairly evenly matched game. Neither team has been playing all that well recently, and both teams badly need a win tonight. But with how poorly Ray has been pitching in the last several weeks and with how great Gray has been, it makes me lean towards the Rockies. The DBacks have been awful at home all season long, and I expect the Rockies to tie this series up tonight.
The Rockies are loaded with heavy bats, with four positional players making next weeks All-Star game roster, and I think we see some fireworks tonight off of Ray. Gray likely won’t be that much better, but in a game that is seemingly fairly evenly matched, I always jump on the value side getting the juice. And that is just what I will do in this one. I will take the Rockies getting +107 and feel like I should be a slight favorite.